Spring due to cold water and high flows generally is the time of year with the highest water quality. In May the rivers exceeded the nitrate level of concern by a small amount at three locations and a more significant amount at the Matfield River location. The fact that high flows didn’t cause bacteria problems is very good news reflecting favorably on the hard work municipalities have been doing on sewer system integrity the last few years. The fact that despite high flows nitrate was exceeded or borderline in so many locations underscores the need for the wastewater treatment plant upgrades currently underway at all upper watershed wastewater treatment plants to protect the river and estuary during low flow summer conditions.
From June through October we will want to see how pollution levels change as flow in the rivers decrease and water temperature rises. After two years of drought we are hoping this years summer flows will be more typical. We will also be looking to document any algae blooms. If you see a bloom take a picture with your cameras or smart phones and email it to TRWA (firstname.lastname@example.org) along with the date, time, and location it was taken. You can be a Guardian of the Taunton River like our sampling team by documenting problems you see.
TRWA’s next sampling day is Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (second Tuesday of each month).